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Fresh sweet corn and cherry tomatoes are the base for this easy as can be Summer Corn Salad. A simple lime vinaigrette brightens up the flavors in this healthy side dish.
This easy Corn Salad is a great way to add a burst of gorgeous color and summer fresh flavor to your menu. It is so much prettier than a standard green salad and loaded with fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
I don’t know if there is anything that says summer more than corn on the cob. It brings back such nostalgic memories for me of the 4th of July and summer BBQ’s with my big family. My dad is a huge fan of sweet corn so we had it often and I still get excited each year when summer rolls around and we start to see it in the stores.
Sweet Corn Nutrition
Is sweet corn high in carbs? Yes, but it is a resistant starch that is slow to digest which can make you feel full longer. This along with the abundant amount of fiber are excellent reasons to load up on a good sized serving of this Summer Corn Salad and go light on some of the other less nutritious offerings at a summer BBQ. Read more about the health benefits of corn as well as some common nutrition myths on Eating Well.
The fresher the corn, the sweeter it will be so buy it as fresh as possible and don’t store it for too long. Look for ears of corn that feel firm and have husks that appear fresh and are held tightly around the corn. Pass on any ears of corn that have loose, dry leaves.
Ingredients for the Corn Salad
- corn on the cob
- red bell pepper
- cherry or grape tomatoes
- red onion
- fresh basil
You can use yellow, white, or bi-color corn and a combination of red and yellow cherry tomatoes to make this pretty salad. The color contrast between the ingredients is a big element here.
Ingredients for the Lime Vinaigrette
- vegetable or canola oil
- rice vinegar
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- garlic powder
How to Make Corn Salad
Before I assemble the salad, I like to give the ears of corn a quick turn in boiling water just to soften them slightly.
- Bring a large pot of water to a vigorous boil. Add the ears of corn and cook, uncovered, for about 5 minutes, or just until crisp tender. Drain it immediately and rinse it with cold water until it is cool to the touch.
How to Cut Corn off the Cob
There are all kinds of snazzy techniques for slicing corn off the cob these days that involve bowls, Bundt pans, and other items but I keep it simple with a knife and a large cutting board. The bonus? Less dishes!
- Shuck the corn and run a paper towel over the rows of corn to remove any lingering pieces of corn silk.
- Place one ear of corn with the flat, cut-side down on a large cutting board and hold on to the top. Using a sharp knife, use a sawing motion to slice down the ear of corn, starting at the top and moving downward. The kernels will fall off, some of them in sheets, on to your cutting board. You might have a few that take flight but you should end up with a nice pile of freshly cut corn.
- Add the freshly cut sweet corn to a large bowl. You can separate the corn that is stuck together if you’d like, but leaving some of the sheets intact let’s everyone know that this is a fresh sweet corn salad – no frozen corn here!
- Add some diced red bell pepper.
- Add sliced cherry or grape tomatoes and diced red onion.
How to Make the Lime Vinaigrette
- Add vegetable or canola oil, rice vinegar, and lime juice to a small bowl. Whisk in some salt, freshly ground black pepper, and garlic powder.
- Add the zest of a lime.
- Toss the salad with the dressing and some chopped fresh basil.
- Cover and refrigerate the salad for at least an hour to allow the flavors to develop.
Corn Salad holds up well if covered and refrigerated so it’s a good candidate for making early in the morning for a late day BBQ.
Leftovers should be stored covered in the refrigerator and consumed within 3 to 4 days.
Corn Salad makes a great side to go along with pretty much anything you grill. Chicken, seafood, and burgers are all great choices. It also works well as a topping for burrito bowls or my Chili Lime Chicken Tacos.
Summer Corn Salad
- 5 medium ears sweet corn husks and silks removed
- 1 red bell pepper chopped
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes halved
- 1/2 cup diced red onion
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 lime zested and juiced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of water to a vigorous boil. Add the ears of corn and cook, uncovered, for about 5 minutes, or just until crisp tender. Drain immediately and rinse with cold water until cool to the touch.
- Slice the corn from the cobs and place it in a large bowl. Stir in the bell pepper, tomatoes, onion and basil.
- In a small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients until blended. Pour over the corn salad and toss it well. Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.
- Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator and consume within 3 to 4 days.
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